Why, how, and to what end, are PSOs building networks within their regions and membership? What impact are they seeing as a result? What does this reveal about the future of PSOs?
At this session, your peer PSOs from Colorado, Massachusetts, and Missouri will address these questions and more. The case of Philanthropy MA focuses on the shift in approach as a result of a 2018 strategic plan. With more than 10 thriving Networks (place-based, portfolio-based, foundation type based, identify-based) in MA, these networks are a key channel for advancing REDI work in the sector and have generated new revenues through member growth and network management. Philanthropy Colorado has a robust community of networks it convenes to facilitate sharing best practices, coordinating presence, and collaboration. These networks are statewide, but also a channel for further engaging rural philanthropy. Philanthropy Missouri (PhilMO) is a smaller PSO (a Lean, Keen, Producing Machine!) operating in a geographically larger state. In 2021, after 50 years of serving grantmakers based in an urban region, PhilMO began its statewide expansion into a rural region several hours away. Their nascent network strategy is helping augment staff capacity and better serve their membership as it grows and diversifies throughout the state.
The heart of PSO work is building bridges and networks, and these examples shine a light on the value of networks to strategic priorities and PSO growth.